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OpenMarket: Banking and Finance

  • Acting Director Asks Congress for Reform of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    April 3, 2018

    On Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its first semi-annual report to Congress under its new Acting Director, Mick Mulvaney. A routine procedure that typically outlines the work of the Bureau over the past year as well as any upcoming initiatives, Mulvaney used his first report to highlight the unique problems with the Bureau’s structureproblems that only Congress can fix.

  • Commonwealth Nations Beating America on FinTech Regulation

    March 27, 2018

    While the United States continues to have healthy development of financial technologies—thanks predominately to unparalleled access to capital and technology—it is at risk of falling behind to nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and many others who provide greater accommodation to technological disruption. 

  • Arizona Becomes First State to Establish FinTech Sandbox

    March 24, 2018

    As the only state where all four North American deserts reside, it’s fitting that Arizona became the first state to establish a “sandbox” for financial technology firms. Earlier this week, Governor Doug Ducey followed the lead of the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and other nations by signing House Bill 2434 and establishing an innovative framework for regulating FinTech firms.

  • 3 Proposals to Temper the Federal Payday Loan Rule

    March 23, 2018

    When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule regulating payday loans in October last year, I wrote that this could be the end of the road for millions of desperate customers who rely on these loans to get from paycheck-to-paycheck. It's now March 2018, and there aren’t many options left for these marginal consumers.

  • 3 Reasons the Senate Should Pass Financial Reform

    March 13, 2018

    The Senate is expected to vote on its first major piece of financial reform this week since the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. A bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, would bring decent relief to thousands of community banks and a number of regional banks across the country. While the bill does not go nearly far enough to fix the problems that Dodd-Frank created, it is a step in the right direction.

  • The Supreme Court Case That Would Catch the Law Up to Economic Reality

    March 9, 2018

    As more and more services move into platform business models as the lower transaction costs they facilitate increase consumer welfare, platform firms need assurance that the law understands how they operate, and does not unfairly hinder their development. While much more needs to be done to improve the regulatory environment for these companies, acknowledging the competitive structure of two sided markets is a significant step in the right direction.

  • The Government Killed Free Checking—Can Amazon Save It? 

    March 7, 2018

    Amazon's move into banking services spells good news for currently under-served consumers, who often rely on relatively expensive financial services such as payday lending or check cashing. While government regulation may have just about killed free checking, a new wave of innovative tech firms may be able to save it.

  • If the Payday Lending Rule Stays, Ability-to-Repay Does, Too

    March 6, 2018

    Many in the financial services industry seem to believe the CFPB's ability to replay rule doesn’t impact them and it’s not worth fighting. That is shortsighted. There is no reason to believe that the agency won’t impose the same burdensome regulations on other institutions in the future. 

  • Government Not Only Source of Regulation for Finance

    March 2, 2018

    One of the most misunderstood and underappreciated aspects of free market economics is the idea of private or “self” regulation. Up until recently, private enterprises largely self-regulated through forming partnerships or organizations that would privately enforce a set of standards or best practices. For banks, this included such things as lending standards and a firm’s capital structure. Over time, however, government agencies increasingly took over these roles and supplanted private regulation. But even today, examples still exist.  

  • Implement AEI-Heritage-R Street GSE Plan AND Honor Shareholder Contracts

    March 1, 2018

    It is welcome news that our friends from the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the R Street Institute put forth a plan this week for the Trump administration to take steps to downsize the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Noting the deadlock in Congress over GSE reform—even among Republicans—the plan looked exclusively at options that don’t require congressional authorization.

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